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Careers at Wood Green

Why not take the next step of your career at Wood Green? You could be making a difference to the lives of pets and their owners every day.

If you’d like to become one of our people, take a look at our current vacancies.

View vacancies
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Senior Leadership

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Clive Byles

Chief Executive

Clive started with Wood Green in the summer of 2005. He joined the Charity having previously worked in local government, retail and insurance sectors.   His career started though after having obtained a degree in music and consequently deciding that he should best exploit his musical talents by joining the Prison Service, in the central HR Department; it proved to be an interesting mix.

Clive initially joined the Charity as HR Director and progressed into a number of different roles. In January 2014 he was appointed CEO.  His previous professional bias of people and community means that he is naturally suited to wanting to make an impact on the lives of people.  He believes that Wood Green can improve the wellbeing of pets and people, because both are intrinsically linked.

Clive has an elderly cat, a Wood Green cat that he rehomed when he first started.

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Linda Cantle

Director of Pet & Owner Support Services

Linda is an animal welfare specialist.  She is fuelled by compassion, curiosity and a desire to empower people to improve the lives of pets and to help make the benefits of pets accessible to as many people as possible.

With a degree in Animal Behaviour and having completed the Courses on Animal Welfare, Science, Ethics and the Law (CAWSEL) with the University of Cambridge, Linda has built a wealth of knowledge and experience in the Animal Welfare Sector.

Working at Wood Green for over 15 years, she has enjoyed roles in Rehoming, Policy Development, Education and Community Fundraising. A particular highlight being having a key role in the development and introduction of the Charity’s Education programme in 2008.

Linda represents the Charity at a number of sector groups including the Canine and Feline Sector Group and the Pet Advertising Advisory Group – she is passionate about sharing the knowledge and experience of the Wood Green team in order to promote responsible pet ownership and the benefits that pets can bring to our lives.

Throughout her time at the charity, Linda has fostered many amazing pets – including puppies, elderly dogs, cats and kittens, as well as playing the role of Moggy Midwife many times, each foster pet helping her to learn more. She couldn’t bear to part with two particularly special hand reared tabby kittens, Peter and Reggie, who have shared her heart and home for the past 12 years.

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Vanessa Cunningham

Director of Care & Veterinary Services

A qualified veterinary nurse, Vanessa joined Wood Green in 2000. In her current role she has overall responsibility for veterinary care within the Charity. Vanessa works alongside senior colleagues on a day to day basis to ensure high standards of animal care at our three sites.

Her family includes miniature labradoodle Tilly, who was adopted from Wood Green. Vanessa was heavily involved in the design and build of the new surgery at Godmanchester, opened in 2012. She’s immensely proud of the facility which gives the highest standard of veterinary treatment for animals in our care.

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Ian Briggs

Director of Corporate Services

Ian is the Director of Corporate Services at Wood Green and has been in post since September 2017. He has over 20 years’ experience as a finance professional in the charity and public sector having worked for national and international organisations. Qualifying as an accountant in 1993 he went on to gain a Masters in Development Finance from the University of Manchester in 2000. Whilst Ian has continued to lead finance functions in most of his roles, he has also gained experience in leading other functions, such as IT, Facilities Management, Risk and Insurance, Procurement, Internal Audit, and HR.

Passionate about charities and their impact on society, this is his first role in an animal charity and he is using his experience to drive forward the corporate services at Wood Green. Ian is a pet lover, owning a cat called Freddie and a dog called Lily. In his spare time he follows Leicester City Football Club and enjoys cycling as well as travelling to exotic locations whenever possible.

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Justin Morris

Director of Marketing & Digital Engagement

Justin has approximately fifteen years’ experience of delivering digital projects and integrated marketing and communications strategies for a diverse range of organisations. This wealth of experience has given him a great understanding of working with a wide range of media and communication channels, working with key internal and external stakeholders to improve the experience of the brand whilst still ensuring charitable and marketing objectives are met showing clear returns on any investment made, be it financially or through increasing the impact the Charity makes.

Throughout a career in the not-for- profit sector (including Barnardo’s, The Girls’ Day School Trust, The Novas Scarman Group, The Roundhouse and the London Borough of Camden) Justin has successfully managed numerous successful organisation wide projects and developed and implemented many successful marketing strategies and plans.

Growing up in Cornwall with a father who owns livestock, Justin has always been around animals and he has continued this into his adult life with a houseful of beautiful pets. Justin has rehomed two cats from Wood Green (Mimi and Maurice), two fish who are known affectionately as the Benjamin’s and a hamster named Bee.

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Deborah Rapkins

Director of People and Culture

Deborah joined the charity in June 2019, with over 25 years’ experience in senior Human Resources roles. She was previously an Independent HR Consultant and before that the Group Learning and Organisational Development Director with Costain Group plc. 

Most of Deborah’s roles have been to support and implement change, both within the People team and the wider organisations. Her career has been notable for the number of different sectors that she has worked in; ranging from professional services and manufacturing, to engineering and retail. This has enabled her to bring that vast experience and network to her current role as Director of People and Culture at Wood Green.

In her current role at Wood Green, she is responsible for all people-centred matters and leads a directorate supporting 300 employees and nearly 1000 volunteers. She manages multiple areas including; Human Resources, Recruitment, Digital People Systems, Learning & Organisational Development, Wellbeing, Culture and the People Experience.

Deborah holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management, from the University of West London and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), having previously studied at the Henley Business School.

Passionate about pets throughout her life, at home Deborah currently has four working Cockers (Cassie, Lou Lou, Skye and Prudence), two cats (Loki and Lily), chickens and a green tree python called Fluffy!

Our trustees

Meet our trustees


Dr Steve Carden Chairman

Steve was elected Chairman of the Council of Trustees in 2018. Steve’s background is as a partner in a leading management and technology consultancy and is excited at the transformation Wood Green is going through and the opportunity to deliver even more impact.

Mrs Janet South Vice Chair

After school Janet joined the World Health Organisation and worked in Switzerland and the Congo, supporting their unsuccessful attempt to eradicate malaria. On returning to England, Janet joined Help the Aged (now AgeUK) to set up a new fundraising programme, leaving twenty years later as Deputy CEO.

Since then Janet has worked as a freelance consultant in charity governance and fundraising until now, her early eighties, she has just one, on-going and long-suffering client!

Married to Christopher, a journalist, writer and broadcaster, they have lived for over 50 years in a north Essex village sharing their home with a changing cast of Labradors, a lurcher, Dalmatians, a Jack Russell and are now hoping for a mature rescue to join their ageing Corgi.

Mr John Cousins Treasurer

John has been Treasurer of Wood Green since 2002. He has also been Treasurer of several other charities based in Cambridgeshire and nationally.

Although he obtained an Honours Degree in Modern Languages, he chose a career in banking. He was a director of HSBC's UK subsidiary, Hong Kong Bank London Limited, and following the acquisition of Midland Bank, moved to the holding company, HSBC Holdings plc.

John likes music and travelling, and has visited every continent, including Antartica. John also has three daughters and seven grandchildren.

Mr Colin Alder Trustee

Following a long career with Unilever, predominantly in Senior Sales, Marketing and general management, Colin joined the Wood Green Board of Trustees in 2002.

Colin lives in a village near Kimbolton with his wife Prelly and two dogs. He also has a son and daughter and four grandchildren. Colin and Prelly spend a great deal of their time grappling with an unruly garden when not pursuing their love of walking in Tibet, Nepal, India and Colin's native Yorkshire.

Mrs Pam Gee Trustee

For over 40 years, Pam was the owner of a successful licensed boarding kennels and cattery, incorporating professional grooming and retail sales.

Former Director of the Pet Care Trust, Pam is now a Trustee of Wood Green the Animals Charity and Chairman of the Pet Services Committee.

She has broad experience in the governance and regulatory requirements of the boarding industry, animal care and welfare, with attendance at the Canine & Feline Sector Group. Pam has regularly shown miniature and standard poodles at Championship Show level and is a professionally qualified dog groomer.

Mrs Angela Au Trustee

Angela is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. After qualifying with KPMG, she worked at the high technology company ARM in Cambridge for nearly ten years. During this time, Angela supported the growth of the company from under 100 employees to a FTSE-100 company with over 700 employees and helped prepare the company's dual flotation on the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq in the US.

Since leaving ARM, Angela combines working as a consultant, principally to high technology companies, with applying her professional skills to help organisations in the Charity and voluntary sector. She is a trustee of Pro Corda Trust, a chamber music school based in Leiston, Suffolk.

Angela is married and has two sons. Her elder one is training to be a vet. She and her children have been supporters of Wood Green for many years and they have rehomed a number of gerbils from Wood Green!

Mr Duncan Canney Trustee

Duncan is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. He qualified with KPMG and soon left them to become a chief accountant of various companies within the Construction sector. He joined the Willmott Dixon Group in 1985 and became their Chief Financial Officer. During his time with them, until he retired in 2016 after 31 years, the Group grew to become one of the largest privately owned construction businesses operating in the U.K. Duncan also served for eight years on the Audit Committee of the Construction Industry Training Board which has Charitable status.

Duncan has a great interest in the welfare of all animals and his family has owned horses and bred dogs over the years. His youngest daughter, using hydrotherapy, is dedicated to the rehabilitation of dogs suffering from various orthopaedic conditions.

Mr Jonathan Younger Trustee

Jonathan is a qualified marketing professional with over 20 years’ experience and is currently employed by a leading international gaming and gambling company as Global Head of Brand.

Appointed as a Trustee in 2015, Jonathan has a keen interest in Animal Welfare and the effective promotion of the Charity and its work.

Jonathan lives in Stamford, Lincolnshire and has given homes to three cats from Wood Green over the years. When not working, Jonathan enjoys Golf and competitive Clay Pigeon shooting.

Ms Lynn Povey Trustee

Lynn Povey is a lawyer and works in central London. She has a wide ranging legal practice but specialises in property development and charity law. Lynn is also a member of the Animal Welfare Committee.

A dedicated cat lover, Lynn’s very first two rescue cats came from Wood Green back in 1992 and she has subsequently rehomed another four from the Charity over the years!

Lynn is very proud of the amazing work undertaken by the Charity’s dedicated teams and is very excited by the innovations that Wood Green have already put in place, to either keep pets in their homes or to rehome them.

Ms Sarah Jaggers Trustee

Sarah is an Executive Coach and runs Cambridge based coaching and development company Managing Change. She has an honours degree in Psychology, an MBA and an M.Sc in Occupational Psychology. Sarah’s earlier career was in technology and financial services in the City.

Sarah has been involved in animal welfare for many years and has rehabilitated several wonderful rescue dogs (two of them from Wood Green!). She has a daughter who is at university.